Man charged with murder after woman found at rubbish tip is identified as Melbourne English teacher

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday
English teacher Annette Brennan is allegedly the 48th woman murdered in Australia in 2024.

The woman whose body was allegedly put inside a wheelie bin before being discovered by horrified staff at a suburban tip has been identified.

The remains of English teacher Annette Brennan, 67, were discovered at the Repurpose waste facility in Epping on 3 July – a location around eight kilometres from the woman’s home in Coolaroo, 28 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD.

George Hatzimanolis is Repurpose Chief Executive and says staff were “shaken” by the discovery.

“We are deeply saddened to confirm that a body was discovered in the FOGO delivery shed at our facility last Wednesday. Our staff members who made this tragic discovery are understandably shaken, and we are ensuring they receive the support and counselling they need.”

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A 45-year-old male was taken into custody on Tuesday night, 9 July. He has since been charged with murder of Annette Brennan and will appear in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 10 July.

The pair are understood to have known each other, although Victoria Police confirmed the deceased woman was not the man’s mother, as some earlier reports had suggested.

The arrest follows detective work that saw police track the route of Brennan’s body from the tip back to her Coolaroo property. 

While Brennan was not known to drive a car herself, neighbours had observed a car parked in the driveway, which was used by a man.

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One neighbour said he saw a man taking out bins from the property in the days leading up to the discovery. Detectives believe that Brennan’s body was in a wheelie bin that was picked up outside her Hilgay Street home.

Police are keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the area around that time and are also canvassing the area for CCTV footage. Police are particularly keen to speak to anyone who may have CCTV or dashcam footage captured between Sunday 23 June and Tuesday 2 July.

Neighbours said Brennan – who moved into the Coolaroo home two months ago – was quiet, but friendly.

“She was amazing, I’m really shocked,” said devastated former student Simona Croce.

“She was beautiful, loving and a kind woman.”

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If you or anyone you know has experienced gendered violence and needs support, please call:

1800RESPECT (1800 737 732)

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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]